Proud parents are being urged to hold off posting photos of their children on their first day of school without the appropriate privacy settings in place.

Photos posted online of a child’s first day at school can reveal a lot of personal information to sex offenders and paedophiles, according to the Australian Federal Police.

The AFP says photos of children in school uniform, showing their name or location, can be used by criminals to groom children.

Commander of the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation and Child Protection Operations Hilda Sirec says the AFP regularly seizes online images of schoolkids from child sex offenders.

“You wouldn’t walk up to a stranger and give them a photo album of your children and tell them their names or location,” she said.

“Parents and carers can continue to take those wonderful happy snaps and post them online. However, we do urge people who are sharing those images to make sure they’re using secure privacy settings on social media and only sharing them with people they know and trust.”

Commander Sirec urged all parents to ensure any photos of their children posted online had the “appropriate safeguards” to prevent them being accessed by offenders – including not posting photos in school uniforms and ensuring the background of photos and videos do not give away an address or location.

Mums and dads are also urged to avoid ‘checking in’ with a location tag when posting snaps and ensuring all social media accounts are set to private.“We have seen some offenders go to great lengths to gain access to children and in some instances, online grooming has started with information that parents and carers have shared online,’’ Commander Sirec said.

“The more information available about a child online, the easier it can be for offenders to build a profile to groom them, or even to groom parents in a bid to access information about their children.”

Image: Getty

This article first appeared on Over60.